Clover Network Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. has partnered with DropThought to add instant consumer and employee feedback to Clover Station, a tablet-based point of sale.

DropThought allows consumers to give feedback to the retailer after purchasing, either through a prompt on the tablet screen or via a link on an email, text or printed receipt. Employees can also give feedback through the platform.

"We spoke to about 70 merchants before we started developing the productÂ…and one thing [they said] was getting feedback from customers was a real problem," says Karan Chaudhry, co-founder and CEO of DropThought. "Intervention needs to take place as close to the problem as possible."

The more traditional ways of gathering feedback, such as paper surveys and social media, do not enable merchants to take instant action to resolve problems or thank customers for their positive reviews.

Yelp and other online review sites put merchants on the defensive immediately, says Chaudhry. Companies were hiring social media managers to scout these sites, but that was "more of a Band-Aid than a cure," he says.

And because the interface is designed to be easy for consumers, DropThought clients have seen five times to 100 times more feedback compared to what they get from survey and social media sites, Chaundhry says. The system has increased guest recovery numbers and a company's Net Promoter Score, which is linked to elevated revenue, he says.

DropThought also offers a Manager Mobile App, which merchants use to manage their locations from a smartphone and set up customized notifications so they can respond to feedback as if they were replying to a text.

DropThought also provides analytics to merchants to show them longer-term trends in customer input. And the employee feedback feature helps improve morale, Chaundhry says.

This year First Data has been adding new features to Clover Station, such as Merchant Analytics, TransArmor data security and Perka loyalty, to bring more utility to small and medium-sized businesses.

Merchants were telling Clover that they were interested in a review system to better understand their customers and maintain their reputation, says Mark Schulze, vice president of business development at Clover. And "we were just very impressed with the DropThought team and what they've brought to market," he says.

Clover merchants will receive a 30-day free trial of DropThought. Afterwards, merchants can pay $10 a month to continue using the instant feedback system.

Square recently introduced a similar system called Square Feedback, which allows consumers to provide feedback from the digital receipts they get from Square merchants. Square charges $10 a month for the new feature.

Clover's customers are small to medium-sized businesses, typically with fewer than 10 locations, says Schulze. The company is selling thousands of its Clover Station packages per month, he says.

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